LYRASIS began offering the SimplyE platform as a hosted service for improving Ebook content access among libraries and their providers to meet a growing need expressed by public library leaders looking for an affordable solution for eBook management that simultaneously would enable the creation of a diverse catalog of materials to meet the needs of all the patrons they serve. The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) provided funding to NYPL and its partner libraries and consortia to begin development of SimplyE in 2015.

In 2018 three program principles DPLA (The Digital Public Library of America) , NYPL (The New York Public Library) and LYRASIS entered into a MOU to further develop, host and maintain the platform and deliver content through a new non-profit marketplace operated by the DPLA.  LYRASIS’s “Library Simplified Hosting” coupled with the SimplyE app from NYPL and the DPLA Exchange marketplace creates a library controlled national platform for a turnkey Ebook service that is interoperable with existing commercial offerings already in place at libraries. This non-profit solution, allows libraries to take control of their eContent shelves, patron privacy, and merge open content with that from many commercial providers, and deliver it in SimplyE. Hosting SimplyE with LYRASIS makes it turnkey and seamless.

Academic Libraries and Simply E

In 2018, LYRASIS and some of its member academic institutions recognized the potential for the platform in the Academic Library community.  With a grant from the SLOAN Foundation, LYRASIS and Columbia University explored this idea culminating in a working Proof of Concept, product roadmap needed to address the unique needs of the the Academic Library community in terms of application functionality, authentication and authorization, integration, and content provider integrations in addition to the advancement of key reference technologies and specifications that would help establish a broader open and interoperable ecosystem for Academic Ebooks.   With this roadmap in hand Columbia, supported by LYRASIS along with other Academic libraries, have embarked on a pilot to production implementation of SimplyE for evaluation over the 2020 calendar year beginning with Columbia University.

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